The KeckCAVES is a unique visualization collaboration that is developing software to interact with three-dimensional data in real-time – moving, rotating, coloring, and manipulating datasets with ease using a wide range of visualization and interaction hardware. Our software is built to run on anything from standard computers to fully-immersive virtual reality systems such as CAVEs or VR headsets. At the DataLab we continue to advance data visualization research and develop new tools to address new types of data and data science problems for an expanding group of users.
The KeckCAVES started as a collaboration between geologic and computer scientists focused on co-developing visualization techniques to improve scientific interpretations of complicated data and model results. It has expanded through the years and provides an environment for collaborative research, teaching, education, and mentoring in the use of interactive visualization methods for understanding data and computational models from any area of inquiry.
For more than a decade the core facility at the KeckCAVES has been the CAVE. This system consists of three walls and floor with stereoscopic displays providing full 3D images, head-tracking to render perfect stereo for the tracked viewer, and a set of tracked input devices for in-depth interaction with the visualizations. This platform was used to develop many pieces of research and educational software, which has been made compatible with linux/unix/OSX desktops, 3D TV-based “mini-CAVEs,” GeoWalls, and other systems.
In recent years, the KeckCAVES has fully embraced modern commodity VR headsets, moving towards a decentralized form of operation where multiple users in the same physical space—or at multiple remote locations—can jointly analyze data using off-the-shelf VR hardware.
Several of the software tools developed in the KeckCAVES have reached wider usage, such as the Augmented Reality (AR) Sandbox, 3DVisualizer, and Crusta.